I am pleased to report that I made it safely to my undisclosed new western home. I had planned for a three-day drive but decided to suck it up and make it a two-day trip. I snapped the above photo on day two from a rest stop with my trusty i-Phone. Once I hit Scotts Bluff Nebraska it truly looked like I had driven into an old John Wayne movie. I had many photo opportunities but since I was on a tight agenda I let them pass by.
Random thoughts or observations:
- Indiana, Illinois and Missouri were lousy with “Jesus Saves”, pro gun, and anti abortion billboards. From Nebraska westward the frequency reduced — though they still pop up every now and again.
- Curious: Do these people actually think that a billboard will convert someone to a new philosophy? If they do then it speaks volumes for the philosophy they espouse!
- Indiana and Missouri had an awful lot of the “South is going to rise again” confederate wannabe bumper stickers on the backs of trucks. From Nebraska on I thankfully did not see a one. Incidentally this mindset is something I’m NOT going to miss! The South lost. Get over it.
- Noticed quite a few Ron Paul campaign posters in some of these western towns. Most people I know in Indiana do not understand that it’s a (mostly) different conservative mindset out here. Less southern redneck Jesus saves and more from the individual liberties camp. Don’t get me wrong: I am well aware that it’s not a liberal mecca out here! However, having grown up in Nebraska, I can assure you that the ranchers are more tolerable than the mullet-wearing Bubbas.
- In eastern WY I hit a series of small towns between stretches of highway. The speed limit goes from 65 mph to 30 mph with no warning. I got pulled over in Lingle WY by the town cop. Since I had been driving most of the day I’m not sure how fast I was going. I was also untypically unfriendly to the cop — something I am usually not. However, I was road-weary and cranky. Despite my sour attitude she gave me a warning. She also gave me a lecture about going 30 so as to not hit any pedestrians. I wanted to say: “Pedestrians? Your town has one horse and it left last year!” However, discretion got the better of me and I just thanked her.
- Hobo drifters. I’m not sure what is it about the west and hobo drifters but there sure are a lot of them at the truck stops. Several years ago when we visited my wife’s old stomping ground in New Mexico and Arizona we ran into dozens of beggars. Oddly enough, they all seemed to suffer from “out of gas” syndrome. On my trip I stopped at Sidney Nebraska to gas up. As I was fueling a creepy Charles Manson looking dude pulled up in his serial killer van: “Hey man, can you spare two dollars? I need to make it to Cheyenne and am almost out of gas.” My response was to give him “the look” and tell him I do not carry cash. He muttered something under his breath as he tore out.
- Do liberals have liberal billboards and liberal talk radio shows? Seriously. All I heard for two days was Rush Dimbulb, Glen Beck and Sean Hannity. Thank God for ear-buds and my iPhone!
The only other thing worth mentioning is my return to exercise. I plan to briefly post what I did and when I did as a way of keeping me on task. So here goes:
- Ran for 40 minutes/5k on the hotel treadmill. Going to stretch soon and then go eat. Tomorrow I’m getting a day pass to the YMCA. Hopefully on Monday I’ll have access to the college gym.